Why Liverpool should certainly splash £80million to sign Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly
Jurgen Klopp must make a swift impression after failing to win his third Champions League final with Liverpool. In a season where the Reds outperformed a number of big teams in Europe, their defensive frailties were once again the main reason for their downfall.
Centre-back Virgil van Dijk has somewhat tightened things at the back but it certainly isn’t enough. Meanwhile, Dejan Lovren has had a hit and miss career so far and it’s about time Klopp brings in someone else to offer cover for the Croatian.
Liverpool have been linked with Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly for a while now. The Reds are reportedly interested in signing the Senegal international to replace Dejan Lovren as their first-team centre-back. Chelsea are also reportedly in the race for the Napoli man’s signature but Liverpool probably need him more than the Blues.
However, Chelsea could have the edge since the club have now signed Maurizio Sarri as Antonio Conte’s replacement. The Italian has already signed Jorginho and although Napoli have slapped a £80million asking fee for their prized asset, the Blues must make a move.
Koulibaly is a tall, strong and agile defender who rarely looks like he’s out of place. He’s a calm and composed man on the ball and remains unfazed under pressure. The Senegalese international made a total of 35 appearances in the Serie A last season, scoring 5 goals and providing 1 assist in that time.
Koulibaly also poses a huge attacking threat with his aerial prowess. He’s also an accurate passer of the ball, averaging a pass success rate of 91.2% in the Serie A last season. It’s hard to find defenders like him, who possess the qualities of a top-class centre-back.
The 27-year-old has also got considerable experience in Europe, playing in both the Champions League as well as the Europa league. He was Napoli’s commander at the back, with his dominating presence and authority. Koulibaly is also vocal and can keep his defence line in check at all times.
Though his £80million price tag would eclipse the fee paid by Liverpool for Virgil van Dijk, it’s clear the club must spend the money if they want to buy quality. Jurgen Klopp cannot afford to let another season slip by due to the team’s defensive fragilities. He should certainly go for the Senegal international and sign him up before Sarri jumps in and hijacks another move.